Broken Teeth: Causes and Treatment
Your teeth are some of the hardest and most resistant parts of your body. However, even they can break or sustain injuries for a myriad of reasons. Broken teeth are a common occurrence if your enamel is too weak and you don’t properly take care of your teeth.
There are various prevention and treatment options for broken teeth. Some of them, such as habit changes, are preventive. Others, such as visits to a restorative dentist, are reserved for when your tooth is already broken. Read all about them below.
The Causes of Broken Teeth
Broken teeth can be caused by hard and sugary foods, previous dental work, teeth grinding, and getting hit in the face/mouth.
In many cases, broken teeth are caused by biting down on something hard. It can happen because your enamel (the outer, hard part of your teeth) weakens. Weakening of the enamel is often caused by poor oral hygiene and excess bacteria in your mouth. So when you bite on something hard, your enamel cannot take the pressure, and it breaks.
However, your tooth can also break even if your enamel is in perfect condition. In such cases, it is all up to the food you are eating. Certain foods, such as nuts, chips, peanuts, and ice cubes, can cause tooth breaking or chipping easily.
Your enamel can also weaken from eating too much sugar. The sugar sticks to your teeth and stays there if you don’t brush and floss them regularly. Then, bacteria start breeding around your teeth, as sugar creates the perfect environment for that.
If your oral hygiene continues to be poor, the bacteria will multiply and slowly start weakening your enamel. In such cases, biting down on something even mildly hard can result in a broken tooth.
Previous Dental Work
Some dental work, including fillings, can cause broken teeth as well. For example, if the fillings are too large for your teeth, they might weaken their structure and integrity. That can, in turn, cause your teeth to be sensitive and easily breakable.
Grinding your teeth, especially subconsciously in your sleep, can cause your enamel to weaken. Your tooth might break as the grinding occurs, or later on when you bite on something, no matter how hard it is.
A Blow to the Face
Of course, your teeth cannot break because of weak enamel only. In fact, a significant number of broken tooth cases are mere accidents. For example, you could get hit in the mouth while playing sports, fall and have an accident, or someone could punch you and knock a part of your tooth out.
In these cases, the break is sudden. Unfortunately, that means there aren’t many steps you can take to prevent the break, as you can’t see it coming. So, reacting quickly and going to a dentist as soon as possible is your only choice here.
Broken Teeth: Prevention
Regular Oral Hygiene
Preserving your enamel is one way of preventing broken teeth. The best way to do it is to practice regular oral hygiene. You need to brush your teeth at least twice every day, preferably after every meal.
In addition, you should also floss to ensure that the spaces between your teeth are clean. By flossing, you will prevent bacteria from having enough time to breed and cause harm to your teeth.
If you have naturally weak enamel, you can try a fluoride mouthwash, as it should help strengthen it. Of course, always consult your dentist before making any such decisions.
As we have mentioned, eating sugary and hard foods can cause tooth chipping and breaking. Thus, an easy way to prevent that is to cut down on these foods. We aren’t saying that you need to stop eating them forever. Instead, we are suggesting that you do so in moderation. That will be good for both your teeth and overall health.
We have already established that there isn’t much you can do when it comes to accidental breaks. However, if you play any contact-heavy sports, wearing a mouth guard could help protect your teeth from breaking.
Treating Broken Teeth
Naturally, sometimes it is too late for prevention. Your tooth is already broken, and you need to fix it. Luckily, restorative dentistry has advanced so far that it can help you get your smile back as if nothing was ever amiss.
So, there is absolutely no need to freak out. Most tooth breaks are not too serious and cannot cause any further damage if you treat them immediately. Just be careful not to injure your tongue or lips with the chipped tooth before you can get to the dentist.
Depending on how big the break is, your dentist may recommend several different courses of treatment. Small breaks can be treated with dental fillings and bonding. These procedures will make it look like your tooth is completely healthy pretty quickly.
However, if a bigger portion of your tooth has broken off, a different procedure will be necessary. In these cases, your dentist will fit you with a dental crown or cap. These will cover your broken tooth and restore it to its normal appearance. In case you break your front teeth, the damage can be fixed with dental veneers.
Whichever option you end up needing, the vital thing is that your dentist properly cleans and prepares your tooth for the procedure. That will prevent bacteria from forming and causing an infection.
Final Thoughts on Broken Teeth
As you have read, tooth-breaking is a condition that has many causes, from enamel weakening to accidents. Regardless of the cause, it is essential to be aware of prevention and treatment tips to ensure that broken teeth do not cause any further damage to your mouth. If you have a broken tooth, visit your dentist immediately. They will be able to restore it to its former glory and help you get your smile back in no time.